Montreal was Muppety!

This is the tale of my second Muppety adventure of this year. My first was to see Jim Henson’s Musical World at Carnegie Hall in the spring where I was thrilled to attend and SO moved by the performances. This second adventure was also a real treat and I’m happy to say that it isn’t the last Muppety adventure I will have this year.

On July 26, 2012 my husband and I were in Montreal. We were staying in the cheapest hotel I could find, and that happened to be a 2 minute walk to the Just for Laughs Festival area! It was a lovely day, overcast, but mild, and we went for a stroll to explore our surroundings. (And to purchase tickets to the Star Wars Exhibit at the Science Centre – but that’s a different adventure).

The Just for Laughs area was a market of booths for interesting food, jewellery and even a spa tent! We sat on a patio and sipped Rose wine and watched the world go by. Later we had some dinner at a fabulous Brasserie across the street from our hotel and walked back down to the theatre.

There were two shows at 7 and 10 pm and I had purchased tickets to both. I didn’t want to miss a thing. The performance was recorded for television and will be broadcast in the fall, so I’m not going to go into detail on the show, except to say that it was perfect. I was worried that there would be too much of the guest comedians and not enough muppets – but those fears were quickly put to rest.

Before the 2nd performance my husband and I sat in the lobby to sip some more Rose wine and met some new friends. Kendal, Jordan and Bosko. I feel it was fate that we met. Jordan is an aspiring puppeteer and Kendal was filming and photographing their entire adventure. Lucky them, they’d seen rehearsal of the performance earlier in the day and Jordan had some Muppeteer signatures already. He graciously allowed me to snap a picture of his treasures.

The second performance was every bit as good as the first with some extra flub ups that made the show even funnier, plus our seats were much closer than the first show, so the angle of the performance was a very cool change.

I did manage to snap a couple of shots – trying not to ruin any performance, but just get their company bow at the end and the stage before the show began.

After the performance we made our way to the stage door where we met other enthusiastic muppet fans. There was a lovely couple there and the young man – Liam – proposed to his girlfriend – Sarit and she accepted. Of course we sang “Somebodies Getting Married” to them and continued to celebrate and trade stories while we waited for Muppeteers. The only one I met (if you could say chatting in a crowd was like meeting) was Bill Barretta.

He’d popped out to have a smoke and make a phone call and I pointed him out to the small group of fans, so we went to speak with him. He was gracious and funny and very kind to this crowd (there were about 9 of us – small crowd really). And when we told him of the engagement he went over to congratulate the groom and flirt with the bride – as Pepe, the King Prawn would do.

The lucky bride and groom also got to go back stage and meet a few muppets – Miss Piggy liked Sarit’s ring and posed for a photo with them. It will be their engagement announcement. I can’t wait to see that!

Around 1:15 am, with my husband starting to show signs of weariness, I decided we’d give up waiting. Clearly, I should not have done so, as my new Muppet friends have photos of themselves on Facebook with Muppeteers. So, IF I’d hung on, I might have met one or two – but ah well.

And my new friends, Kendal, Jordan and Bosko…. ¬†they’d already been backstage and met the rest of the Muppeteers! AGH!!!

I hope to meet up with these three at my next puppet adventure this summer – The Puppets Up Festival in Almonte, Ontario. I will try to get as many stories from them as possible.

I am very glad I went. I am super glad of the people I met and the creativity and inspiration I witnessed. I am now looking forward to my next adventures! Stay tuned!

Author: Ceris Thomas

Ceris is a creative person. She teaches by day - and finds as much creativity in her job as she can and by night, (and during every spare minute she has), she creates through directing/choreographing and performing plays, drawing, writing, podcasting and now, sewing puppets. She likes to help others find and nurture their creativity and she loves finding out about other people's path to their own creative projects.

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